Getting Started with Research

Background Information

Encyclopedias

Consult encyclopedias for topic overviews. Learn more about a topic at the beginning of your research process to explore sub-topics and ideas.

Research in Context
Articles, books, images, biographies, audio, video, magazines, newspapers, and primary sources.

Britannica Academic
Includes country data, media, and primary sources.

Points of View Reference Center
Controversial issues. Essays, articles from magazines and newspapers, government documents, and transcripts news reporting.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context
Controversial issues. Articles from academic journals, magazines, and reference books, audio of news reporting and interviews, videos, statistics, geographic data, and more.

Statista 
Tool for researching quantitative data, statistics and related information. 

Interdisciplinary Databases

Search databases to find a variety of sources, including:
Articles from reference sources, peer-reviewed journals, trade journals, magazines, newspapers, and other publications. Also find statistics, educational videos, audio recordings and transcripts, images, and historical documents. 

Academic Search Complete

Proquest Research Library

Gale Power Search

MasterFILE Premier

JSTOR

Opposing Viewpoints in Context
Current and controversial issues.

Newspaper Resources
A Greenley Library research guide for accessing newspaper articles.

Google Scholar

Use Search Everything or Journal Titles A-Z to find out if the Greenley Library holds these materials. If you cannot access an article, request via Interlibrary Loan (ILL) or ask the Greenley Library for assistance.

Books

Print Books
Search for books in the Library's catalog. Also find print materials via the "Books and eBooks" tab on the Library website. Search by topic, title, author, etc.

  • Circulating Books: Located on the Lower Level. Check out up to 10 books for 2 weeks at a time with your FSC ID
  • Reference Books: Located on the First Floor. Must be used within the Library. Includes encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, test prep books, etc.

eBooks
Search for ebooks via the "Books and eBooks" tab on the Library website. Search by topic, title, author, etc. View materials as a PDF and access from off campus with your FSC username and password.

Can’t find it?
If the Greenley Library does not have the book you need, make an Interlibrary Loan request (ILL) or ask a librarian.

Other sources:

WorldCat FirstSearch
Find books held by other libraries.

Public Domain materials

Search for digitized materials in the public domain (published pre-1923):
Internet Archive
HathiTrust
Google Books


Citing Sources in MLA Style

See below for basic guidelines and examples of MLA citation style.

Test your knowledge of MLA format with this quiz.

MLA Quiz

Why Cite?

Why you need to cite sources:

  • Citing sources is the only way to use other people’s work without plagiarizing (i.e. if you are using any resource [journal article, book, website, report, interview, etc.], you NEED to give credit to the original source).
  • The readers of your work need citations to learn more about your ideas and where they came from.
  • Citing sources shows the amount of research you’ve done.
  • Citing sources strengthens your work by lending outside support to your ideas.

In-Text Citations

In-text citations give credit to sources in the body of your paper. Use in-text citations when paraphrasing, directly quoting, or using ideas from sources.

  • MLA citation style uses the author-page method for in-text citations: Author(s)’ last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text.
  • Last names may appear either in the sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase, but the page number(s) should always appear in the parentheses, not in the text of your sentence.

 

In-Text Citation Examples


Example 1. Writers should ask questions that will result in interesting answers (Zinsser 100). 
Example 2. Zinsser notes that writers should ask questions about interesting experiences in their subjects' lives (100). 
Example 3. Writers should ask their subjects "questions that will elicit answers about what is most interesting or vivid in their lives" (Zinsser 100). 

In-Text Citations vs. Works Cited Page


In text citations are brief, providing only some information about the resource being referenced. These citations must match up to a full citation in the Works Cited page. 
In text citations show readers where to find more information, by directing them to an entry in the Works Cited page. The Works Cited page provides much more information about the resource, so readers will be able to locate it and consult the original source. 

Example 1. The above in-text citations correspond to the following full citation, which would appear in the Works Cited page: 
Zinsser, William. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction. Harper Collins, 1976. 

Works Cited Page

The Works Cited page lists complete citations which correspond to in-text citations. The word or phrase you use in your in-text citations must be the first thing that appears on the left-hand margin of the corresponding entry in your Works Cited page.

Formatting

    • Separate page labeled “Works Cited,” double-spaced, same margins, etc. as rest of paper.
    • Indent the second and subsequent lines of citations by 0.5 inches to create a hanging indent.

Author Names

    • Alphabetized by the last name of the first author of each work.
    • Authors' names are inverted (last name, first name; middle name/initial).
    • If a work has no known author, use a shortened version of the title.

Capitalization and Punctuation

    • Capitalize each word in the titles of articles, books, etc, but do not capitalize articles (the, an), prepositions, or conjunctions unless one is the first word of the title or subtitle, e.g. Gone with the Wind.
    • Use italics (instead of underlining) for titles of larger works (books, magazines) and quotation marks for titles of shorter works (poems, articles).

Works Cited Page Examples

Book
Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Date.
Example: Zinsser, William. On Writing Well. The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction. HarperCollins, 1976.

Scholarly Article
Author Last Name, Author First Name. "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, volume number, issue number, Date Month Year,
pages, Database, DOI or URL.
Note: include the URL if there is no DOI
Example: Matsumura, Lindsay Clare, et al. "Classroom Writing Tasks and Students' Analytic Text-Based Writing" Reading
Research Quarterlr, vol. 50, no. 4, Oct.-Dec. 2015, pp. 417-38. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson), doi:10. 1002/rrq.110.

A Page on a Website / Web document
List as much of the following information as possible (you sometimes have to hunt around to find the information).
Author Last Name, First Name/Organization. ''Title of Page" Name of Website, Date of Publication, URL, Date Accessed.
Example: Rodburg, Maxi ne, and Tutors of the Writing Center at Harvard University. "Developing a Thesis." Harvard University,
1999, writingcenter.fas harvard edu/pages/developing-thesis. Accessed 20 Mar. 2017.

Newspaper Article
Author (s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical, Day Month Year, pages
Example:  Fani, Anthony "Tips For College Students Searching For Internships" Philadelphia Tribune, 18 Oct. 2016, p. 14.



NoodleTools

Access NoodleTools

NoodleTools is a citation manager that can help you generate and format citations correctly.

  • Select the type of resource you are citing (article, book, website, etc.) and NoodleTools will prompt you to enter required information. A citation is then generated in your selected format (MLA).
  • NoodleTools requires an account, so every time you log in your citations will be saved for you.
  • When you are finished entering information, a reference list can be generated for you and exported to MS Word or Google Docs.

Citation Help

For more details and examples of MLA citation style, visit the following websites:

 


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